Islington Square developers respond to residents’ fears that it could become as busy as Covent Garden

Islington Square, artist’s impression. Photograph: Cain and Sager Group.

The developers of a luxury estate off Upper Street slated to open in September are trying to assuage neighbours’ concerns about the potential impact on the neighbourhood from traffic and noise.

The Islington Square development, which controversially replaced the demolished General Post Office building when bought by Cain and Sager Group in 2003, has attracted opposition from the Moon Street and Studd Street residents’ association (MSSRA).

Neighbours fear “significant nuisance” could result from an events licence application for Esther Anne Place, though developers claim that the event programme for the £400m project will be “community-based”.

An MSSRA spokesperson said: “Many of those attending these events are likely to arrive and depart via Studd Street, whose residents already suffer from unpleasant and anti-social behaviour, which is likely to be exacerbated as a result of the granting of this licence.

“This is particularly marked in the evenings, when dispersal from such events is likely to coincide with customers leaving the many restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

“Given the strong likelihood that the type of events for which the area will be used will use amplified sound, the noise nuisance will be that much greater than anything currently experienced by local residents.

“The space is large enough to accommodate very many people, certainly hundreds and possibly thousands.”

The MSSRA went on to voice its disquiet at seeing promotional articles for Islington Square comparing it to Covent Garden, adding: “Anyone familiar with the piazza at Covent Garden will know that it is a very busy place seven days a week.”

It is understood that Islington Square plans a range of “placemaking” events, including musical performances, pop food and drink vendors, theatre performances, fashion shows, a “conscious market”, and a zen garden run by the National Gardening Scheme.

Richard Scantlebury, a senior estates manager speaking on behalf of the developers, said: “The events and activities are designed to complement the retail environment and attract visitors to the shops and restaurants, while consideration has been given to both our residents and the residents living in the local area.

“We very much consider the event programme to be community-based and hope that residents will attend the various events and support the programme.

“I consider communication key to ensuring successful event programme and the Islington Square team intend to consult with residents and tenants on a regular basis throughout the year.

“This planning application is ‘time limited’ to February 2020, which will allow us to demonstrate how we intend to operate on a longer term basis, when a permanent licence is applied for.

“This will also give residents the opportunity to feed back to the estate and event team so we can tailor future events to suit everyone.”